RISE Sleep Tracker
One of Apple's Best Apps of 2024

Alternatives to the RISE Sleep App: Pros, Cons & How to Choose

RISE alternatives exist, but they don’t accurately track or help you improve the two metrics that make the most difference: sleep debt and circadian alignment.
Written by
Jeff Kahn, M.S., Rise Science Co-Founder
Reviewed by
Chester Wu, MD, Rise Science Medical Reviewer
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Are There Sleep Trackers Similar to the RISE App? 

  • There are alternatives to RISE, but many don’t focus on the key metrics that experts agree make the biggest difference to how you feel each day. Those are sleep debt and circadian alignment. 
  • RISE alternatives that track these metrics don’t track them accurately and they don’t give you personalized guidance on how to improve them to get more energy each day — which is probably why you want to track sleep to begin with. 
  • You might want to reconsider RISE as it goes beyond simple sleep tracking. It works out how much sleep you need, how much sleep debt you have, and the timing of your circadian rhythm each day. You’ll then get guidance, based on your own biology, on improving key metrics for more sleep, energy, and productivity, and better health.

There’s an almost endless selection of sleep apps and trackers out there, but they’re not all made equally. Telling the duds apart from the ones that will genuinely make a difference in your life isn’t an easy task, though.  

To help, look for a sleep app or device that tracks the metrics researchers agree make the most difference to how you feel each day: sleep debt (how much sleep you owe your body) and circadian alignment (how in sync you are with your circadian rhythm, or body clock). 

Below, we’ll dive into how to find the best sleep tracker, how RISE alternatives compare, and why you might want to reconsider RISE in your search for the best sleep app for you.  

Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose the Best Sleep Tracker for You 

Here’s what to consider when comparing sleep trackers: 

  • Does the device or app track the right metrics? Look for sleep debt and circadian rhythm tracking. Sleep researchers agree sleep debt and circadian alignment are the two biggest factors affecting how you feel and function. Other sleep data is interesting, but it probably won’t make that much of a difference.
  • Does the device or app help you improve those metrics? Once you’ve found an app or device that tracks the right things, look for how it can help you improve them for more sleep and energy. Ideally, you’ll want clear, actionable, and personalized guidance you can apply to your daily life to see improvements.
  • Does the device or app come with any other useful features? Look for features that help you lower your sleep debt and get in sync with your circadian rhythm. That could include sleep sounds and white noise, a smart alarm clock, or the ability to sync with other wearable devices to inform those metrics. 
  • How much does the device or app cost? As well as cost, consider if you’d prefer a one-and-done yearly subscription or a monthly charge. Don’t forget to look out for any hidden costs, like having to buy a wearable device to make an app work. 
  • Does the device or app have good reviews? Look for five-star reviews and real-life stories of how users improved their sleep, energy, or anything else important to you. Awards and recognitions can also help you determine if a company is reputable.   
  • Does the device or app come with a wearable or sleep-tracking device? If so, is it comfortable and easy to use? For some sleep trackers, you’ll need to wear a watch, strap, or ring, or sleep on a special mattress. Consider how comfortable this would be and whether you want another gadget to charge and look after. Some apps (like RISE) track your sleep through your phone, so you don’t have to worry about another device if you don’t want to.

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The Right Metrics: Sleep Debt and Circadian Rhythm Tracking 

If you want more energy, better productivity, a sunnier mood, clearer skin, and better physical and mental health, you’ll want to lower your sleep debt and get in sync with your circadian rhythm. 

Low sleep debt and being in sync with your circadian rhythm improve your energy, productivity, and health independently, but you’ll notice even more of a difference if you do both together.

Not all apps and devices track these two key metrics, though, and many of those that do come with problems. Here’s what we mean and how RISE compares. 

Alternative Sleep Apps or Trackers 

Many sleep apps and devices that track sleep debt, like Whoop and AutoSleep, use generic sleep guidelines — which can be inaccurate and misleading — or self-set sleep goals — which, as most of us don’t know how much sleep we need, are also often inaccurate.

Sleep debt might also be bundled into a mysterious sleep score based on the company’s own scoring system. This makes it hard to track and improve this important metric. 

Most sleep trackers don’t take into account your circadian rhythm. If they do, they focus on how it affects your sleep, and not how you can use it to get more out of your days.  

You can learn how to evaluate the best sleep debt tracker here.


RISE tracks your sleep debt and circadian rhythm and puts these metrics front and center. 

The app works out your sleep debt by comparing how much sleep you get to how much sleep you need. This is known as your sleep need. 

Instead of using a generic sleep need number, RISE works out your individual sleep need using sleep science algorithms and a year’s worth of phone use data. 

This way, you’ll get an accurate sleep need that’s unique to you. For example, among 1.95 million RISE users aged 24 and up, sleep needs range from five hours to 11 hours 30 minutes. 

The RISE app can tell you how much sleep you need
RISE users’ sleep needs.

RISE automatically tracks your sleep through your choice of: 

  • Tappigraphy, when you touch your phone, which research shows may be more accurate than tracking movement.  
  • Mattress-based actigraphy, tracking movement from your mattress with the accelerometer in your phone. 
  • Data from wearables like Oura ring, Apple Watch, Garmin or Fitbit if you want to use a wearable. 

Sleep debt is then measured over 14 nights. This takes the pressure off each single night of sleep and gives you a more accurate representation of how sleep debt affects your energy levels today. For example, you could have gotten enough sleep last night, but still be tired from lingering sleep debt from last week. 

You’ll have one sleep debt number to focus on, which you can view in the app, on a widget on your iPhone home screen, on your iPad, or on your Apple Watch.

RISE app screenshot showing how much sleep debt you have
RISE tracks your daily sleep debt.

To predict the timing of your circadian rhythm, RISE combines your inferred light exposure, recent sleep times, and algorithms built on the SAFTE model, which was developed by the US Department of Transportation and the Department of Defense.

You’ll get a visualization of your circadian rhythm each day. This will show you when your body wants to wake up and go to sleep and when you’ll have peaks and dips in energy across the day. 

We’ve covered the best non-wearable sleep trackers here, including why sleep apps can be great at tracking sleep. 

RISE app screenshot showing your energy dip and peak times
RISE predicts your circadian rhythm each day.

RISE users on iOS 1.202 and above can view their sleep need here, view their sleep debt here, and see their circadian rhythm on the Energy screen here

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Improving Your Sleep and Energy 

Lowering your sleep debt and getting in sync with your circadian rhythm can lead to a whole host of benefits, from more energy and sharper focus to less anxiety and an easier time losing weight. But it’s not always easy, and many sleep trackers don’t help you make changes to achieve these goals. 

Alternative Sleep Apps or Trackers 

You might get a sleep score or confusing graphs and reports, but no advice on what to do with all this data. If you do get advice, it’s probably not tailored to you and your own sleep need, sleep debt, or circadian rhythm, or it’s not even focused on improving the right metrics to begin with. 


RISE acts as your own sleep and energy coach, helping you lower your sleep debt and get in sync with your circadian rhythm, and then keep things that way.

To do this, you’ll get personalized guidance based on your own biology and actionable steps you can take in your daily life to feel a difference. 

Here’s how RISE helps improve your sleep and energy: 

  • 20+ sleep hygiene habit reminders: These are the habits that help you fall asleep faster and wake up less often. Choose which reminders you’ll get and you’ll find out when to have your final coffee, when to get and avoid bright light, and when to finish up dinner by — all based on your circadian rhythm that day. Doing these habits at the right time for you makes them even more effective.
  • A prediction of your Melatonin Window (your ideal bedtime): This is what we call the roughly one-hour window when your body’s rate of melatonin production — the sleep hormone — is at its highest. Head to bed during this time for an easier time falling and staying asleep (keeping sleep debt low) and sleeping at the right time for your body (staying in sync with your circadian rhythm). 
  • A gentle smart alarm: Find out, as you’re setting your alarm, whether your wake time will add to your sleep debt. When it’s time to wake up, get woken by gentle alarm sounds or vibrations.
  • Relaxation exercises and sleep sounds: Soothe anxiety, block disturbing noises, and drift off faster with relaxation and breathing exercises and a selection of sleep sounds, like white noise. 
  • Guidance on shifting your sleep schedule: RISE can give you a recommended bedtime, based on what your body needs, that slowly shifts earlier to help you get more sleep. You can use the app’s insights to shift your sleep schedule to become a morning person or get over jet lag faster.
  • A daily prediction of your energy levels as part of your circadian rhythm: You’ll see when your energy levels are expected to rise and fall across the day. Schedule your day to match to make the most of the energy you have and maximize your most productive times. You’ll also see the best time to take a nap so you can pay back some sleep debt. "More useful than sleep trackers noting how I slept last night, RISE forecasts the day ahead." Read the review.
RISE users' sleep needs
Regular RISE users get more sleep.

How Useful Are Other Features?

Here’s what to consider when figuring out whether other features of sleep trackers are useful or not.

Alternative Sleep Apps or Trackers  

Many sleep apps and devices track how long you spend in sleep stages like deep sleep, light sleep, and REM sleep. Unfortunately, this is rarely accurate

Even if it were accurate, many trackers don’t take into account that we all need a different amount of each sleep stage and that this can change nightly. Plus, you can’t really control how much time you spend in each stage of sleep and that time doesn’t make a difference to how you feel while you’re awake. Focus on getting enough sleep nightly with good sleep hygiene and your brain will do the rest.

Sleep quality tracking is another common feature, but there isn’t an agreed-upon definition for sleep quality. Most sleep trackers give you an arbitrary number based on a variety of metrics — different apps may give you different scores. 

What’s more, metrics like sleep quality and time spent in sleep stages can’t help diagnose sleep disorders like insomnia or sleep apnea — you’ll need to speak to your doctor for that. Sleep debt can be a helpful metric in this conversation as it shows how much and how often you’re losing sleep.

Learn more about sleep tracking here, including why you don’t need to worry about sleep quality and sleep stages. 


Every feature in RISE is designed to help you improve those key metrics of sleep debt and circadian alignment. 

There’s no sleep stage tracking, but you can self-rate your sleep quality if you like. Research suggests how you feel about your sleep can make a difference to your well-being, so tracking self-rated sleep quality may be much more useful than any score an app can give you. 

Beyond this, features include: 

  • Partner Connect: See how much sleep debt your partner (or anyone else you choose to sync your app with) has to know when to cut each other some slack and when to keep each other accountable to healthy sleep habits. 
  • Calendar integration: See when your peaks and dips in energy will be and schedule your day to match, boosting productivity. 
  • Syncing with wearables and other sleep apps: RISE can pull data from Apple Watch, Oura Ring, Garmin, or Fitbit directly, or from devices like an Eight Sleep mattress indirectly through Apple HealthKit. You can also pair RISE with some sleep apps, like Sleep Cycle, to access more features.
  • Using RISE on other devices: See RISE’s sleep and energy insights on the app, your iPad, a widget on your iPhone home screen, or on your Apple Watch. With the RISE Apple Watch app and complication you can set your RISE alarm from your Apple Watch and get habit notifications on your wrist.
RISE shows you how much sleep debt your partner has
RISE shows you how much sleep debt your partner has

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Here’s how sleep devices and apps like RISE compare on cost.

Alternative Sleep Apps or Trackers

Prices vary, but here’s an idea of what RISE alternatives cost: 

  • Whoop: $239 for a yearly subscription. The basic strap is free, but other colors cost $49 to $99. 
  • Oura Ring: $5.99 a month. The ring costs $299 to $349 USD, depending on design. 
  • Sleep Cycle: $39.99 a year. 
  • AutoSleep: $7.99 one-off payment. 


RISE costs $69.99 a year, which works out at $5.83 a month

There are no hidden costs or additional wearables you need to buy. 

You can also try RISE for free for seven days. Don’t worry about losing track, you’ll get an email reminder before your free trial is up.

During your free trial, you’ll find out your unique sleep need and how much sleep debt you have, and get a prediction of your daily circadian rhythm. This will show you when your energy will fluctuate each day and when your body wants to sleep and wake up. 

To make the most of this free trial, follow RISE’s personalized 20+ sleep hygiene reminders, Melatonin Window bedtime, and science-backed relaxing content to see how much more sleep you could get and how much more energy this could give you.

While you should notice some benefits straight away — 80% of RISE users feel more energy within five days! — the real improvements come from consistently keeping sleep debt low and staying in sync with your circadian rhythm.


We can’t speak for other sleep trackers, but app users think that RISE is worth it:

  • "Life Changing. I’m a very poor sleeper. Not quite insomnia but close. The scheduled ups and lows are so useful for scheduling activities like chores and the gym. It explains why I feel so sluggish sometimes and then 5 minutes later I have energy. Also good for work schedules. Sometimes you don’t have any control but you can try. Great app. Worth the cost." Read the review.
  • “This app has changed my life. I never realized how much sleep I actually needed, and how sleep loss accumulates to detrimental effect. Since I got my debt under control, I have more energy, am no longer crashing or napping, drinking less coffee, and my days feel more productive. If you think this app is expensive, it’s really not, for what you get in return.” Read the review
  • “One of the best apps I have ever come across to help sync my energy levels in order to help me achieve optimal performance during all my activities.” Read the review
  • I trialed a lot of apps before settling on this one. Not only does it give me the information I’m looking for in regards to my energy levels, but it also suggests times for various activities based on my dips and lows. And it puts them into my calendar app for me!...I truly love this app and I’ve recommended it to a few friends and family already!” Read the review.

As well as tens of thousands of 5-star reviews, big industry names have noticed RISE. Sleep Foundation and Sleep Doctor named RISE one of the best sleep apps of 2024, and Apple nominated it for a design award and named it an Editor’s Choice app.

Reconsider RISE for Better Sleep and More Energy 

If you’re in the market for a sleep app or device, you probably don’t just want to track sleep for the sake of it. You may want to become a better sleeper, feel more energy, boost your productivity, or look after your health — or all of the above.

The RISE app is the best app to make that happen.

RISE accurately tracks your sleep debt, predicts the timing of your circadian rhythm, and gives you personalized guidance to help you improve on them both for a real difference to your days.

You can also pair RISE with certain wearables or other sleep apps if you’d like to track more metrics.

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The power behind your next best day

RISE makes it easy to improve your sleep and daily energy to reach your potential

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